Kids have a great chance to learn code

Pro­ject aims to in­spire youth for change

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - THEM­BEKA DLAMUKA

Sci­ence Cen­tre is en­deav­our­ing to make as many rel­e­vant ac­tiv­i­ties ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one,” she said.

Among the ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer are cod­ing, data sto­ry­telling and ro­botic work­shops. There will also be talks by some of the most tal­ented and in­spir­ing young coders in Cape Town and a chance to in­ter­act with many hands-on ex­hibits in the cen­tre.

Clever­don said that even if young­sters had never writ­ten a line of code, the work­shops would help them get started, one step at a time.

“They are styled to help en­cour­age to­day’s young dig­i­tal con­sumers to be­come to­mor­row’s dig­i­tal cre­ators,” she ex­plained.

It’s all based on Scratch, a pop­u­lar sys­tem adopted by mil­lions world­wide as it prompts youth­ful cu­rios­ity, pro­motes cre­ativ­ity, and pro­vides a ba­sis for life­long pro­gram­ming learn­ing. CRE­AT­ING “1 000 Ac­tivists” for change for the bet­ter is the aim of the non-profit Heal the Hood Pro­ject, work­ing in tan­dem with rap­pers Youngsta and Emile YX in lo­cal schools this month.

Us­ing a mix­ture of songs and talks to ad­dress young Capeto­ni­ans about the im­por­tance of tak­ing ac­tion in pur­suit of their life’s dreams and as­pi­ra­tions, it’s part of a cam­paign to en­cour­age ac­tive cit­i­zenry.

Emile YX re­cently won the ti­tle of LeadSA Hero of the Year and wants to pass on the en­ergy. “We need to learn that we can help our­selves to achieve what­ever we want, by tak­ing ac­tion. I come from an era when the South African me­dia had no idea what hip hop was, and to­gether with Prophets of da City and Black Noise we took ac­tion to in­tro­duce the cul­ture,” he said.

He also gave a shout-out to Youngsta, who said had im­pressed and in­spired him for his ded­i­ca­tion to Cape Town, and his “de­sire to share”.

In ad­di­tion to the Sci­ence Cen­tre’s ef­forts, other or­gan­i­sa­tions have joined in the fun, and are set to cre­ate a “cod­ing buzz” via a host of cod­ing ac­tiv­i­ties across the city.

Any­one who’s in­ter­ested should visit the Africa Code Week “live” map http:// africa­code­­tiv­i­ties/

Dur­ing their vis­its to schools, which con­tinue un­til the end of next week, they will col­lect con­tact de­tails of young­sters in­ter­ested in be­com­ing ac­tivists for pos­i­tive change. Their aim is to gather 1 000 such con­tacts and then mo­bilise these young ac­tivists to achieve their goals, while col­lec­tively as­sist­ing one an­other to at­tain their ob­jec­tives too.

Of the Heal The Hood Pro­ject, Emile YX said they live-events/ which lists the events tak­ing place lo­cally.

Africa Code Week, first im­ple­mented in 2015, was spear­headed by soft­ware com­pany SAP, in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Sci­ence Cen­tre and Gal­way Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre in Ire­land.

The first year in­spired more than 89 000 chil­dren across 17 African coun­tries to write their first lines of code. Of those, recog­nised the pos­i­tive im­pact of hip hop on their own lives, then “started shar­ing the ba­sics with oth­ers”. This work had in­spired a host of projects, he said, of the var­i­ous el­e­ments of hip hop cul­ture and the “youth that I work with in­spired the cre­ation of most of the projects I have done”.

Among the most re­cent were a Cape Flats film fes­ti­val and a Cape Flats cell­phone pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion.

The aim of the 1 000 al­most 4 000 were from the West­ern Cape.

This year, said Clever­don, the aim was to in­volve 150 000 young­sters in 30 African coun­tries.

For de­tails about the Fes­ti­val of Code to­day and next Satur­day, visit za/fes­ti­val-of-code-africa-code­week-free-en­try/, or call the Sci­ence Cen­tre at 021 300 3200.

There will also be free Ac­tivists pro­ject was to cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­cess new spaces for youth to be ex­posed to new things, ef­fec­tively chal­leng­ing their per­cep­tions. Each of the projects aimed to ex­pand young peo­ple’s view of what was pos­si­ble and how they could be more than the lim­its cre­ated by his­tory and so­ci­ety.

“We also use ex­am­ples of our own learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of how we once saw our­selves ver­sus how we are will­ing to con­stantly grow and change our views,” he said. Their first gath­er­ing will be at the African Hip Hop Ind­aba at Muizen­berg High School to­day from noon to 11pm.

On Mon­day, they’ll be at Aloe High School at 10am, on Tues­day at Grass­dale High School at 10.30am, on Wed­nes­day at Cafda School of Skills, on Thurs­day at Oak­lands High at 11am and on Fri­day at the Mitchells Plain Skills School from 9am. They’ll also be at the Wood­stock Live Hip Hop and Reg­gae Fes­ti­val on Oc­to­ber 30, at Trafal­gar Park in Wood­stock.


Rap­pers talk to young­sters dur­ing their 1 000 Ac­tivists tour.

Heal the Hood Pro­ject, joined by rap­pers Youngsta (pic­tured) and Emile YX, presents the 1 000 Ac­tivists school tour. PIC­TURES: SUP­PLIED

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